Morning Box Score
By Marcus Gilmer in News on Jan 5, 2009 4:05PM
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
Blackhawks Extinguish Flames
As long as they're not playing Detroit, the Blackhawks seem unbeatable. The 'Hawks still haven't lost to a team not named "Red Wings" since the end of November and upended Calgary 5-2 last night. Martin Havlat opened scoring with his 11th goal of the year less than four minutes into the game. Calgary scored to open the second period to tie the game, but the 'Hawks then rattled off three straight goals - from Andrew Ladd, Kris Versteeg (short-handed), and Dustin Byfuglien (power play) - to take a 4-1 lead. Both teams added a goal in the third, Patrick Sharp scoring for the 'Hawks on a late empty-netter. It was a rough contest, as the teams combined for 17 penalties including six fighting majors and Byfuglien's misconduct in the waning moments. Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 34 of 36 shots for the win. Patrick Kane sat out from an injury he sustained in the December 30th game against Detroit. Said Versteeg, "We have a lot of guys who can go to the net and make things happen. Pat's a special player, but our team has enough talent that we don't have to rely on a just couple of guys to score."
Illinois Falls to Michigan
After a holiday stretch that saw them notch wins over ranked opponents like Mizzou and Purdue, the Illini hoped to continue their winning ways but were derailed by the Michigan Wolverines 74-64. The teams were tied at 62 with a little over six minutes to play and Illinois was down only two with 3:38 left, but the Illini went cold, missing their last six shots of the game. Calvin Brock led Illinois with 13 points and seven rebounds. Coach Weber said of the team, "I told them we'd find out if we're good at Purdue, and today I told them we'd find out if we're special. And we're not special. We have an opportunity to become that, and right now we're not. It's something we're going to have to see if we can work to." Still, in spite of the loss, one would think Illinois' big victories and 13-2 record should be enough to sneak them into the top 25. We'll find out later today.